So, I sort of forgot about this for a while, but I was just thinking about it again... I had a real problem with arduinoISP after I accidentally set my ATTiny to run at 128 or 16khz (I forget which). I tried all of the commands to reduce the ISP frequency to no avail. It looks like it might be a problem with arduinoISP itself.
check out https://savannah.nongnu.org/bugs/index.php?30844 , a guy who had the same problem I did made that thread. Are there any ISP pundits here who know anything about this?